No matter how hard you try to make things perfect, you can’t. Some things happen in life, even if you do not intend them to. For example, there is no one perfect enough to not commit a mistake. Committing mistakes is inevitable.
Perhaps you have done things that you cannot undo, such as hurting someone else emotionally. If forgiving those who have wronged you is difficult, being able to forgive yourself for something you have done, can be even harder.
“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”
– Lewis B. Smedes
You need to be able to forgive yourself, as being able to forgive yourself is important. Here are some things you can do in your process of self-forgiveness:
‘Live and Let Live’ – Put The Past Behind You
No one can change the past. It is a fact you need to accept if you are to move on with your life. The mistakes that you have made cannot be undone and will never be erased from the past, but you can do something to make your future better. Focus your energy on the future ahead and let the past be a learning experience.
Acknowledge Your Negative Feelings
Negative feelings such as guilt can make you feel miserable. It doesn’t make it any easier knowing that everyone feels the same and that it is a normal part of life. What you need to think of is that by feeling the way you do, you are accepting and acknowledging to yourself that you did something wrong.
Now you may be saying, but I feel like this and haven’t done anything wrong, I just hurt someone else because of what I had to do. Whatever happened, and regardless of who was hurt, you need to let it go and start forgiving yourself.
Your negativity will only bring you down further. You have done enough emotionally, now it is time to stop and lift yourself up from now on.
Another negative emotion you may feel is shame. Perhaps you feel ashamed for doing something you wish you hadn’t. If you could, you would turn back the clock and make better decisions.
However, you can’t go back in time, so regardless of what you did, show yourself some empathy and compassion. Know that making mistakes does not necessarily make you a terrible person.
Do not punish yourself for doing something in the past, instead, give yourself some self-love and know that you can overcome this setback and be a better version of yourself if you really want to.
Be Realistic – You Are Not Perfect, Even If You Want To Be
Disappointments are usually caused by unrealistic goals. If you set your bar incredibly high, chances of failure are also higher. Accept that not everything will go the way you want it to. Do not aim for perfection, rather, set reasonable goals for yourself.
If you don’t achieve a perfect score, don’t beat yourself up. Give yourself a bit of slack and forgive the imperfect you! You cannot be perfect 100% of the time, no matter how hard you try. Forgive yourself for being human.
In life, getting hurt is inevitable. No matter how close you are to your family, there will be times when they may leave you. No matter how many friends you have, betrayal is still possible.
However, no matter what you do, or who you are with, you will always have yourself. Therefore, love the one person who will always be there for you, through thick and thin – that person is you.
Self-forgiveness is not easy. It takes courage to accept your mistakes and forgive yourself, but when you do, you will reap the benefits – freedom! Self-forgiveness can free you from your negative emotions and thoughts that will only weigh you down.
Therefore, start loving yourself more and give yourself plenty of compassion. After all, you are not the only one who feels the way you do right now. We have all committed mistakes we are not proud of, some may be trivial, others may appear huge. However, every one of us deserves a second chance, and we can do that through self-forgiveness.